Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wizard and Wonderland

   The Wizard and Wonderland
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland

  These two would have to be the biggest children stories seen on movie theatres,stage and tv .My daughters must have watched Wizard Of Oz 100s of times from when they were two through to about seven years old and Alice would have to be the most remade story of all time with numerous versions over the years. The latest of course seeing Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter with lines like...
Why is a Raven like a writing desk?

There is a place. Like no place on Earth. A land full of wonder, mystery, and danger! Some say to survive it: You need to be as mad as a hatter.

What a regrettably large head you have. I would very much like to hat it. I used to hat The White Queen, you know. Her head was so small.

Alice In Wonderland
Alice comes upon a mushroom and sitting on it is a blue Caterpillar smoking a hookah.
Cheshire cat
  A Cheshire Cat appears in a tree, directing her to the March Hare's house. He disappears but his grin remains behind to float on its own in the air prompting Alice to remark that she has often seen a cat without a grin but never a grin without a cat.

  Alice leaves the tea party and enters the garden where she comes upon three living playing cards painting the white roses on a rose tree red because the Queen of Hearts hates white roses.
 Queen of Hearts
Off with their heads.

   Alice attends a trial whereby the Knave of Hearts is accused of stealing the Queen's tarts. The jury is composed of various animals, including Bill the Lizard, the White Rabbit is the court's trumpeter, and the judge is the King of Hearts. During the proceedings, Alice finds that she is steadily growing larger. The dormouse scolds Alice and tells her she has no right to grow at such a rapid pace and take up all the air. Alice scoffs and calls the dormouse's accusation ridiculous because everyone grows and she can't help it. 

Author  Charles Lutwidge Dodgson

 The third of eleven children of an Anglican priest, was a mathematician and a logician who was a lecturer at Oxford for some 26 years. He was also an accomplished photographer, and a Church Deacon. Dodgson's pen name, was Lewis Carroll.

  Alice was originally a dark haired child, whose likeness had been patterned after ten year old Alice Liddell, the child of a church colleague, for whom the Alice stories had been originally created.

 Quote from Lewis Carroll himself.
 "Many a day we rowed together on that quiet stream - the three little maidens and I - and many a fairy tale had been extemporised for their benefit- .. -yet none of these tales got written down: they lived and died, like summer midges, each in its own golden afternoon until there came a day when, as it chanced, one of the listeners petitioned that the tale might be written down for her."
That's how Alice was put to paper.

 There are so many characters in Alice I am sure Mr Dodgson was on something just like the caterpillar.Another two characters are Tweedledee and Tweedledum which prompted Bob Dylan too put this down with music.

 Neither one gonna turn and run
They’re making a voyage to the sun
“His Master’s voice is calling me”
Says Tweedle-dee Dum to Tweedle-dee Dee

Oz book


Cowardly lion
 L. Frank Baum was born in New York in 1856. He began his career at the age of 25 by writing for musical theater; he was also an actor. Baum eventually turned to journalism, and moved to Chicago in 1891, writing for the "Evening Post." To earn extra money, he also sold porcelain and china; you will see evidence of that in the stories he tells .

   Adventures in Phunniland and Tales from Mother Goose were his first two childrens books published in 1897 This collection of short stories, with an appearance of a little farm girl named Dorothy were a success and 
driven by the impetus of these works, and now in his early forties, Baum decided to earn his living as a writer. Together with artist William Wallace Denslow he produced Father Goose: His Book in 1899 and in so doing created a publishing sensation which sold nearly 60,000 copies. To follow this book up he published The Wonderful Wizard of Oz which was a huge success with the public and critics alike.

  In 1910, Baum and his family moved to Hollywood, California. He founded the Oz Film Manufacturing Company and began making films based on the Oz books. The problem was that back in the early years of the century, nobody had really started making films for children. Baum found it difficult to market the films, and they were not financially successful. 

  Baum's financial affairs had become increasingly entangled, and by 1910 the situation was so serious that he assigned all rights to his Bobbs-Merrill books to a group of creditors. In 1911 Baum was declared bankrupt. 

    Baum continued to publish an Oz book once a year, with a whole generation of American children growing up with the tradition of an adventure in that far away land every Christmas. In February 1918 Baum entered the hospital, writing to his publishers that he had "finished the second Oz book - beyond The Tin Woodman of Oz - which will give you a manuscript for 1919 and 1920. Also there is material for another book, so in case anything happens to me the Baum books can be issued until and including 1921." Baum survived his hospital operation but spent his last year bedridden, dying nine days before his 63rd birthday in 1919.
   People over the years have developed stories,comic strips,ideas from Baum's classic story. the Wiz a stage musical and Wizard of Id comic strip are just two.The group Toto who had great musical success in the eighties was named after Dorothy's pooch.


The Wiz

  The Wiz a retelling of Baum's, Wizard Of Oz  in the context of African american culture. The story was written by William F Brown. While it was a successful stage show musical. I think a lot of people will remember the screen version starring Michael Jackson as the Scarecrow and Diana Ross as Dorothy.

Wizard of Id comic strip 
  The title is a play on Wizard of Oz, combined with the Freudian psychological term Id, which represents the instinctive and primal part of the human psyche.It first appeared in 1964 created by American cartoonists Brant Parker and Johnny Hart.

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